The Israeli bombardment of Lebanon and Palestine as well
as the ongoing U.S. process of abruptly and forcibly delivering to life a
lifeless new U.S.-modeled Iraqi regime are crushing the Arab League �system� in
a life-or-death test and again pushing it into a collision course with the
all the constitutions and basic laws of the Arab League�s 22 states, including
the stateless Palestinian Authority, stipulate that their peoples and countries
are an integral part of the �Arab nation� and some explicitly pronounce
Pan-Arab unity as a national goal. Yet almost all of them in practice pursue
policies that flagrantly violate their constitutional stipulations, enveloping
their contradiction in Pan-Arab rhetorical jargon.
desperate outcries for Pan-Arab help by helpless Palestinian, Iraqi and
Lebanese Arabs, who are being crushed by the American and Israeli merciless war
machines, are falling on deaf ears within the Arab League�s states, failing to
realistically accept the proven fact of life that no help will ever come from
the moribund and defunct regional grouping still floating only thanks to the
mercy of the U.S. midwife of the �New Middle East.�
the proven and frustrating history of the Arab League �system,� Arab masses are
time and again turning to this futile regional grouping to look for help in
times of crises.
are the Arabs?� �Let the Arabs see!� were yelled with coarse voices to
television cameras, sometimes in an Arab Palestinian accent, other times in an
Arab Iraqi or Lebanese accent, by the wailing and heart-breaking women,
children and men while collecting the live shreds of the bodies of their
beloved ones, whether in Gaza, southern Lebanon or western Iraq, but their
outcries had no echoes in the republican or royal ruling palaces of the member
of an �Arab solution� should have faded a long time ago, but the Pan-Arab
feeling of affiliation seems to run deep in the hearts and minds of the Arab
masses in spite of their religious or cultural diversity and the intensive
indoctrination for loyalty to the �nation state� ideology adopted by each and
every one of the Arab League member states.
ruling elites of the �league� states are very well aware of the Pan-Arab bond
that fuses the Arab masses in cross-border waves of solidarity in times of
crises and have over time engineered political internal and external mechanisms
to preempt a tsunami that might threaten the nation-states' independence.
have trumpeted �solidarity� among the Arab League states as an alternative to
the massive yearning for unity or union, but this solidarity has fallen apart
and proved flawed in times of crises.
promoted the Islamic belief of the overwhelming majority of the Arab masses as
an alternative ideology, an orientation that had also listening ears in the
western and Israeli corridors of power. However the awakening of the Islamic
giant has proved counterproductive and instead cemented further the Pan-Arab
bond as a decisive unifying factor.
have over-trumpeted the �nation-state� ideology and loyalty to the verge of the
absurd that could not convince the cross-border tribal ties, the cross-border
sectarian loyalties or the Pan-Arab deep-rooted ideology.
League states individually and as a group failed to mobilize member nations
under the Arab League defense pact, could not prevent the Palestinian Nakba in
1947-48, the Israeli occupation of Arab land of four member states in 1967, the
Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon up to the capital, Beirut, in 1982, the
Iraq-Kuwait crisis in 1990, the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003,
and their helplessness was and is still considered an integral part of all Arab
crises, and not part of solutions thereto.
of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) for example was a prerequisite
and a precondition to recognize the PLO by the United States and Israel as a
partner to the Oslo peace accords. A dozen articles of the PLO National Charter
were deleted and 16 amended, mostly dealing with the Pan-Arab affiliation of
Palestinians, in 1998.
example: Jordanian law for political parties prohibits any cross-border
nation-states that adopt Pan-Arabism have realistically subjected their
ideology to the dictates of the higher �national security.�
The Arab League was founded by seven Arab states under
either British or French mandates on March 22, 1945 to: Serve the common
good of all Arab countries, ensure better conditions for all Arab countries,
guarantee the future of all Arab countries and fulfill the hopes and
expectations of all Arab countries.
The British and French colonialists at the time
practically sponsored the creation of the league as a guarantee to preempt the
realization of the Arab aspiration for unity, but their American inheritors
have an expanded plan for the region to incorporate the new reality on the
ground: i.e. Israel.
and Israeli strategists are keen to incorporate Israel as an integral part of
the region and because it could not join an �Arab� League, they are keen to
keep the Arab League floating until their alternative of the �New Middle East�
has acquired enough prerequisites to be enforced on the region.
failure of the Arab League system could logically herald the failure of its
member states and in the long run could lead to the fall of both the league and
the political �systems� that desperately cling to keep it floating.
failure has led realpolitik ruling elites to seek �foreign solutions� to
League was de-Arabized a long time ago.
to a question about closing the Palestinian information office in 1987 and the
creation of a Palestinian state, former U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance
told an audience of diplomats and journalists at the National Press Club in
Washington that Arabs were never united, neither for war nor for peace; that
Algeria's former president, Chadli bin Jadid, was the only visiting Arab leader
to urge the U.S. administration to support the creation of a Palestinian state.
Had 21 Arab nations closed the offices of the USIA in their capitals,
Washington would have opened the PLO information office within days, he said.
Arab League change since 1987? Yes it did, but towards more de-Arabization.
failure of the Arab leaders to convene an emergency summit meeting on the
Israeli offensive on Lebanon has exacerbated the people-state conflict.
Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist based in Ramallah, West Bank. He is the
editor of the English language web site of the Palestine Media Centre (PMC).